LONDON — Andy Bond has stepped down as chief executive officer and president of the Wal-Mart-owned supermarket chain Asda, and will now take on the part-time role of chairman of Asda’s executive committee, the company said Monday.
Asda said it plans to appoint a new ceo “soon,” and added Bond would remain responsible for Asda’s day-to-day management until his successor is found. A spokeswoman for Asda described Bond’s move as a “personal decision.”
Bond was named president and ceo of Asda in 2005, and prior to that served as the retailer’s chief operating officer, having joined Asda in 1994. During his 16 years at the retailer, Bond served as managing director for the George clothing label, and under his watch Asda grew to be the U.K.’s leading fashion retailer by volume, a position it currently holds, according to figures from Kantar Media Research.
Asda said Monday that 2009 marked 15 straight quarters of “market outperformance” for the company. Comparative sales grew 4.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with the same period in 2008, but Bond admitted in February the company had become “too promotional” during the year, and said he planned a return to Asda’s philosophy of “everyday low prices.”
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Asda declined to comment on speculation in the British press Monday that Asda is planning to acquire Home Retail Group, a U.K. homewares and general merchandise retailer that owns the Argos and Homebase retail chains. A spokesman for Home Retail Group also declined comment. On Thursday, Bond, together with Asda’s executive team, will present Asda’s strategies for future growth to analysts at the retailer’s headquarters in Leeds, England, the company said.